Tormented mum took out her grief on social worker
A WOMAN has admitted harassing a social worker over her teenage daughter’s death. But Elaine Bennett says she did it as a cry for help. Sam Lennon reports.
TWO years after her death, 16-year-old Louise Bennett’s body is still not buried and lying in a mortuary.
Tests have still not discovered the illness that caused a demise in her behaviour, leading to her needing social care.
An inquest gave an open verdict after she drowned in 2006, unable to confirm or deny her family’s fears that she committed suicide.
Her mother Elaine, already anguished over so many unanswered questions, was also unhappy with the care given by social services and in frustration harassed her daughter’s social worker.
For this she appeared in the dock at Ashford Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
She told the Kentish Express after the case: “It was a cry for help although this court was the wrong place to bring it to
“When Louise died it felt like my heart was ripped out. I don’t live now, I just exist.
“We have never been able to hold a funeral for her so we can’t grieve properly.”
Mrs Bennett, 47, of Cradle Bridge Drive, Willesborough, appeared in court charged with the harassment of social worker Lisa Hutchinson and was given a conditional discharge. She had pleaded guilty.
Her husband, Richard, 52, told the Express, said: “We have tried through the proper channels but we have still not got answers.
“We need to know, not just for our children but also our grandchildren.”
The family says Louise was struck by a mysterious, undiagnosed condition that made her behave oddly, such as going out without wearing shoes and had physical symptoms such as double vision and difficulty swallowing.
Social services implemented a scheme where she could not go out without a parent but the family said that made her even more unhappy.
Mr Bennett said: “It meant she couldn’t even go outside the house for a cigarette without one of us being there.
“We had to shadow her every move and that got her depressed.”
Mrs Bennett said: “She actually said three or four times over four weeks she was going to Folkestone to drown. I told her not to be silly.
“But the last day she left the house she kissed me and said ‘I love you mum’. My instinct told me I didn’t like that.
“I realised afterwards she had gone to Folkestone with no train fare no change of clothes and no towel.”
Louise had five siblings, her twin Jason, now 19, Suzanne, 24, Kevin, 21, Lisa, 14 and Justin, 10.
Elaine Bennett and her husband Richard